Eco-chemistry laboratory

The Ecochemistry laboratory is a dynamic, research based group that focuses on questions related to trace elements in natural waters. The current focus of research is on the interaction of trace elements with phytoplankton, trace element speciation, pH and nutrient biogeochemistry, and development of biogenic opal as a proxy for palaeo-reconstructions.

Maintenance of experimental diatom cultures is achieved in an environmental growth chamber. This instrument is designed so that the user can control the temperature, humidity, light exposure and sterility of the environment to which organisms are exposed.

The FlowCAM® combines technologies such as flow cytometry, microscopy, imaging and fluorescence, making it a very unique particle analyser. This instrument has been used on an oceanographic voyage to the Antarctic to study phytoplankton present in the Southern ocean.

The instrument is routinely used to monitor the population dynamics of diatom cultures that are maintained in the Environmental Growth Chamber.